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Need help on final choices

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by dyerkutn, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. dyerkutn

    dyerkutn Feeling the Heat

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    Based on all the feedback I got on various previous threads, I think I have narrowed down my choices-there are pros and cons to each. I know there are many other advice threads but would like some thoughts based on my situation Sorry to be so long-winded but was advised to give details of my situation to be most helpful. So thank you in advance if you can help me.

    My entire house is 1340 sq. ft. but that includes two BR and bathrooms that are around the corner of the airflow from the stove location. THe rest of the house is about 900. The stove is at the other end of the house in area that is 480 sq. ft. This is essentially an open area with with some partial walls that separate it into rooms, air circulation-wise, and also has varying heights of cathedral ceiling from 9 1/2 to 20 feet. The stove is located in a 12 by 12 living area. However, with a big L shaped sectional couch the actual walking area is 8 x 8 and that INCLUDES the stove. This is the area that gets the most immediate heat from the stove. There is an eating area that is next to this and a kitchen that gets less immediate heat because is it separated from the living area by cabinets. The stove has a half wall behind it and below that about 6 steps is an entrance vestibule (that is where the 20 ft ceiling is). In front of the stove beyond the living area is a long narrow DR that is about 200 sq. feet and beyond that in direct line is a BR that is 120 sq. ft. In order to get heat to the DR and BR, need to do some major blowing. I am having a ceiling fan being installed in the living area between the stove and the DR --it will be hanging.

    After much looking around I have sort of settled on the Jotul 400 Castine or the Alderia T4 or T5. Here is why.

    1. I have gone to 8 dealers and I am now beginning to get a sense of which ones I like and don't like. Some try to push one product. Some treat me like I am stupid, and a couple were nixed by my chimney sweep. etc. I found three dealers that my instinct tells me are honest and reliable (and two of them know each other--family run).

    2. I would like to NOT have a hearth pad (unless I could get one that is almost flat). I do not have one now, and the minimum hearth pad of 4 x 4 would seriously cut into the walking space of my living room. The stove is next to the stairs that comes up from the entrance and you have to walk past the stove to get to the living room. This is where I spend a lot of time.

    2. I was hoping for a catalytic stove but I have to make a choice between catalytic and no hearth pad and no hearth pad wins Also It is pretty much impossible to find a dealer in my are that will serve my town and has on display Buck, Napolean, or Blaze King or for that matter Lopi--all popular brands on this forum

    3. I am hoping for a stove that will leave the house warm in the morning and which I can relight in the 40 minutes I have between waking up and heading out for work and that will also do the same when I come back (but sometimes that can be 10 hours). On the other hand, I don't want the living area to be sweltering. I also have periods of time when the weather is mild but still colder inside than outside so I would like SOME heat.

    So I narrowed it down to Jotul Castine 400 and Alderlea T4 and T5. HEre are the pros and cons

    1. the T4 and T5 --I am attracted by the combination steel and cast iron and by the fact that you can cook on it and also has been highly recommended on this forum and by two of the dealers I like--sounds like extremely high qualitiy and good company backing.

    The draw backs: I am afraid the T5 will be overkill and will swelter me. The T5 is also 25" deep'', 28 with the front lip. My current stove is 16", 18 with the front lip, but I love that you can load it N-S which is more like my current stove which side loads.The T4 seems more appropriate for size and heat but the T4 has such a small door for the wood and the box is not much bigger than the one I have. You can fit 18" but the opening is only 14 or 15".

    2. The Jotul Castine 400--has a fabulously wide door for loading, is fairly narrow front to back in terms of room space, has been pretty highly recommended and is kind of in between the T4 and T5 in terms of firebox size and heating capacity. However, of course, does not have the advantage of the steel in terms of cooking. Also, it seems to me that the baffle of the Alderlea is superior to other stoves with those tubes.

    So some bits of advice really needed. Will the T5 be too much for my space given that it is not that large and somewhat broken up? Is there another steel stove I should consider that might have something between the T4 and T5 in terms of heat and door opening but would not sacrifice quality.

    Other stoves on display near me are Enerzone, Harmon, Avalon, Regency, Enviro, Hampton (not sure those are all steel)

    What do you think about cast iron Jotul vs. steel and the variation in quality of tubes for secondary burn?

    Have I overlooked any options?

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    At the very least (depending on stove), ember protection is a requirement unless you are on a non-combustible surface (read: cement). It just is.

    I am currently picturing your house like this::p
    dlRelativity.jpg

    A couple of pics might help.
  3. dyerkutn

    dyerkutn Feeling the Heat

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    A hearty laugh is really great for your health--the pick sent me rolling.

    I put pics on if it helps--not sure about the technology but I will try

    I have ceramic tiles over wood. I have info from several sources, including manuals--that this is ember protection.

    If the pics came through they go like this:


    1. from entrance vestibule up to main floor (stove behind half wall)
    2. opposite direction--from stove to entrance area open space--wall on right is back of cabinets
    3. living room ceiling
    4. to eating area--stairway down left between stove and counter , counter separates LR from kitchen--kitchen to left
    5. kitchen cabinets--on other side in entrance area
    6. with stove to my back--dining room to bedroom door DSCN1111.JPG DSCN1105.JPG DSCN1109.JPG DSCN1108.JPG DSCN1110.JPG DSCN1112.JPG
    ck--dining room to bedroom door
  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    So my mental picture wasn't far off, eh??;lol

    How does the current stove do for heating? What element (if any) is lacking? Heat production or movement of heat, etc.
    Woody Stover likes this.
  5. lopiliberty

    lopiliberty Minister of Fire

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    Why not look at the Woodstock Keystone. Its catalytic and around the same size as the Dutchwest. I almost suggested the Woodstock Fireview but just remembered its a rear vent only and that would put it out in the middle of the floor more than you would like
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    This is true, but be aware, many stoves require MORE than ember protection. Not all stoves are created equally.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    My choice would be the Alderlea T5. Its burn times will be double that of the F400 and the square firebox is much easier to work with. It has close clearances and requires ember protection only.
  8. dyerkutn

    dyerkutn Feeling the Heat

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    I have a $1000 trade in voucher that has to be used with a MA dealer.
  9. dyerkutn

    dyerkutn Feeling the Heat

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    I will certainly double check but these 3 stoves in their installation manual specify that ember only protection without an R rating because of their heat shields.
  10. dyerkutn

    dyerkutn Feeling the Heat

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    Can only fit four good size logs. Can make it through the night if I my technique is perfect. Requires a lot of refills. It is VERY hot when full blast in the area it is sitting. It is VERY old 1985--and so probably not so efficeient in wood use.
  11. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie Minister of Fire

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    I believe Woodstock in participating with Mass on that program. You should call them and check that out.

    That CDW you have there looks like a CAT based stove, is that going to qualify as a "clunker" to trade in?

    ...but I also vote for the T5 if you can fit it and afford it.
  12. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    ;lol

    Yeah, go with your gut. Guts are smarter than many people give them credit for being.;) If you don't like them before buying, that impression is not likely to change after they have your $.

    I think you've pretty much ruled out Woodstock too, based on hearth pad, but I would be remiss if I did not point out that if you elevate the hearth 8" up off of the floor, that takes care of the hearth requirement to the front for WS. If you're talking about a pad cutting into the walking space in front of the stove, an 8"-high hearth can be flush with the front of the stove, per Woodstock's published requirements.

    But what is behind the stove? A half wall? If it's combustible, you need to look at the rear clearance requirement of the stove, as that will determine how far out into the room the stove must be placed. . .you could end up walking around the stove, pad required or not.
    "You can always build a smaller fire in a bigger stove, but not a bigger fire in a smaller stove." -- hearth.com
    Most follks around here will tell you to go big. There are a few who disagree, but they basically advise to go with the ideal size. If you're looking at going too big or too small, I'd rather err on the side of surplus.
    If a stove is rated(probably optimistically) by the mfr for 8 hours, I wouldn't expect 10-hour burns on a regular basis.

    It's usually not the tubes that are the problem, it's the baffle behind the tubes. Most tube stoves use a ceramic fiberboard, which is delicate, compared to the stainless steel baffle in the Alderlea. A lot of people like the bulletproof stainless steel, but the ceramic is okay as long as you are aware of it when you're loading the stove. . .I'm not sure what the baffle in the Jøtul is made of. Could be cast iron. . .

    Not sure why you're distinguishing between steel and iron for cooking. You can cook on any material. With the integrated trivet, the Alderlea does sorta lend itself to cooking, but you can plop down a trivet on any stove that has a surface to hold it.

    The Alderlea is characterized as a "convective" stove. The "jacket" around the firebox shields the radiant heat and transfers the energy to air that circulates through there. This type of stove should work better for heating the far end of your house, since it's easier to move air than to move radiation. The Jøtul is a radiant stove. Transfers heat by irradiating the objects in the room rather than heating the air, the good "warm your bones" kind of heat for which stoves are known. Neither of these is 100%. The Alderlea will radiate some, and the Jøtul will convect some, but the Alderlea will convect more, which lends itself to moving the heat around the house.

    +1 :)

    Mr. Green is modestly neglecting to mention that he used to burn an F400. Listen to this man. ;)
  13. dyerkutn

    dyerkutn Feeling the Heat

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    I will double check but I went online to look at the dates of the various designs and because mine does not have an extra air valve above the door it is build in 1984-5 and it was installed in 1985.
  14. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    My guess is that any stove not EPA-approved would qualify.
    EPA started testing stoves ~1988, AFAIK.
  15. dyerkutn

    dyerkutn Feeling the Heat

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    I never realized that going up could sub for going out. But in order to do that I would have to have something built, right? Or get one of those prefab ones with the exact right dimensions or made to order. Also, the main problem for me is that I have lots of space in front of the stove but to the left of the stove is my living space--and to the right is the stairway to the entrance.

    the pipe is 20" from the half wall so I don't have much choice on the back. The stoves I have been looking at will not come out more than 4 or 5 inches from my current stove--the Jotul because it is not deep and the Alderleas because the pipe comes out of the middle of the stove instead of the back so that pushes the whole stove back. That leaves plenty of walking space. I have been remeasuring pad requirements and while on a front loader the pad would really be OK to the sides, the front would come out at least 4 1/2 feet from the back wall. Given that there is only 8 ft. from the wall to the couch, that is very little walking room.
    So I thought there were some comments that this is not a good idea--especially on a non-cat--because the temp would not get high enough for the reburn?

    OK!! I am beginning to get a headache from thinking about all of this---I cannot do or think about anything else till I get this settled. It would be nice to get the stove in soon enough to at least try it--it will be too warm soon.

    One more thing--my biggest worry is getting smoke in the house. So many people who post are looking for help with backsmoke. My stove has never smoked. IT is a direct line from the box into the chimney--by pass open no smoke, by pass closed smoke--as simple as that. I also have a very strong draft.
  16. dyerkutn

    dyerkutn Feeling the Heat

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    I cannot quite get the gist of this quote thing so my last post did not include these two comments. Does this mean my DW is radiant?
    Ok
  17. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    My only advice is that you get a stove that sits on legs as opposed to a pedestal...because you'll appreciate the useful space to store dirty accessories.
  18. dyerkutn

    dyerkutn Feeling the Heat

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    Definitely. I see you have a quadrafire--I am about to go out today and look at some as my last consideration before making a decision--I had avoided them because I heard some bad feedback and because they all seemed to be too big for me. I like the cast iron of the T5 and although many people on this forum have said that the T5 is not too big I am still worried about it but the T4 will be a pain to get wood into. Also, I visited a dealer yesterday who will sell me his T5 floor model for $500 less (under $2000). Hard to pass up.
  19. farmer

    farmer New Member

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    You wont find a better deal than that t-5 floor model.
  20. dyerkutn

    dyerkutn Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the suggestion--At the urging of many on this forum I AGAIN reconsidered the Woodstock today. I called them to rediscuss dimensions. The 16" of either height or width of floor protection that is needed on the door side is really unworkable in my space. I do not want the stove up on a pedastal and the side of my stove leads directly to living space and it would be very intrusive to have anything even with a modest rise. And even if it wasn't, the cost of the WS combined with the needed pad are too much for me right now. I can't wait for another sale, with the Mass. trade in voucher have to have it all done by May 22.

    I am about to go for one last look around before I make up my mind to see Lopi's and Quadrafires which I had not seen up to now, but unless there is a very compelling reason to consider these I don't think pricewise I can do much better than a floor model T5 which was offered to me at $500 reduction. I almost considered the plain steel because it is much cheaper but with that discount it is worth the extra money for the nice cast iron covering.
  21. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Woodstock is participating in the MA exchange program, that isn't a problem. But the Keystone, as you know, requires a hearthpad, which is at max 1 1/2 inches thick, and also weighs quite a bit. Add the weight of the Keystone, and you have a fair amount of weight, though the pad distributes it nicely. T5 may weigh a lot too? But no pad necessary? Don't know how they compare. Know you were worried about weight.
  22. dyerkutn

    dyerkutn Feeling the Heat

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    good point. T5 is 490 pounds. I am having trouble locating the weight of my DW224CCL but I expect it must be at around 400. Do you know where I could find that info. I have the manual and it does not say. I think I would worry if I were putting 700 pounds in.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Just do it. That is a great price. The T5 will burn fine and cleanly with a partial load of fuel, the key is burning dry wood. Switch to softwood in mild weather and you will have lots of control over the heat output. Smoke spillage is not going to be an issue with a straight up, strong drafting flue. I wouldn't worry about the weight either. It is distributed nicely over several joists by the hearth pad. That mass of cast iron will be much appreciated when burning. It is great for evening out temperatures and extended release of heat.

    FYI, my next door neighbor heats 1600 sq ft with a Spectrum (same firebox) in a much milder climate. Loves the stove and has not complained of overheating. That is unless the in-laws arrive. They like the living room to be in the 80s and sit right alongside of the stove. lol
    Woody Stover likes this.
  24. dyerkutn

    dyerkutn Feeling the Heat

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    Just spoke to my brother in Bellingham WA. He is a builder--built his own house. Turns out he has a 10-year-old Vista and he loves it. And.....he wishes he had gotten the larger size! He has a two floor house that is essentially completely open--like having a large loft. That pretty much clinches it.
  25. dyerkutn

    dyerkutn Feeling the Heat

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    ps begreen love your two little sayings/quotes

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